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by Stephen Downes
December 21, 2007

SPS Partnering with Connexions for Open-Access Educational Repository
This is a good announcement: "IEEE is partnering with open-access educational repository Connexions on a major initiative to develop a critical mass of signal processing educational modules and courses that will be available for free access by anyone, anywhere, at any time." And I hope some of that open content goodness rubs off on IEEE, which is known in these parts mostly for being a real pain to deal with when it comes to copyright. Via Peter Suber. Unattributed, IEEE - Inside Signal Processing E-Newsletter December 21, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment]

The Chronicle Tome Warp
CogDogBlog takes the Chronicle of Higher Education to task for announcing that the NMC 2007 Horizon Report was released last week. I have to admit, it's rather surprising that the supposedly authoritative media would miss the mark so much on this one. Alan Levine, CogDogBlog December 21, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

It's Time To Wean Ourselves Off An Unhealthy Addiction To Copyright
I agree with this argument: "the crutch that copyright provides in that easy business model means that people don't need to think about how to adapt and how to innovate. They just scream "piracy" and complain that they've been cheated and demand that the world change to meet their needs and their business model." Mike Masnick, TechDirt December 21, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Two Dangerous Lessons From Second Life
The main thing to keep in mind is that the two lessons are not unique to Second Life. Here they are:
- We judge people, and assess their 'lovability', by their appearance;
- We are attracted to those who offer mystery, passion, attention and appreciation, even when that is unhealthy, insincere, needy or manipulative.
Why is this significant? Well, at least part of the appeal of Second Life is that it is not reality - we can all be beautiful and fashionable. That's OK - but we need to be clear that this, in turn, changes our perception of 'real life'. That, too, is OK, so long as we are not misled by this, so long we do not pursue in real life fantasy that exists only in Second Life. Language warning. Dave Pollard, How To Save The World December 21, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Is Facebook in the Enterprise an Oxymoron?
Short answer: yes. The longer answer is something like this: social software and similar applications work because they create loose, network-like structures. But the requirements of the enterprise - security, provacy, control, etc. - break those structures. Sure, you can have the same sort of applications in the enterprise. But they'll never seem to work so well, and people will always say that it's the application, never doubting that it's the nature of the enterprise itself that is the problem. Anyhow, this post links to Tom Byrne on Facebook as an enterprise solution. James Robertson, Column Two December 21, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Computer Games for Grown Ups (Part 1)
I have been in serious vacation mode for the last few days, which means me an long sessions with Civ IV. Well, at least, until that new Wii arrives - which it is sure to one of these days. Richard Nantel, Brandon hall Research December 21, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

David Cavallo Interview On OLPC Brazil's Apparent Loss
Interesting that the OLPC crew is learning a few things about international marketing. One of these is that some countries do not want thousands or more cheap laptops simply dumped into the country. They expect taxes to be paid, and if it's a government purchase, they expect local production and distribution. At least, these are the conditions Brazil is imposing - and they sound remarkably like the conditions imposed on companies trying to do business with the Canadian or American governments. Alexandre Van de Sande, One Laptop Per Child News December 21, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Most Users Do Not Know Web Office Tools: New Study
Not really a surprise, but most computer users have never heard of Web office productivity tools. These will become more important as people switch away from Microsoft computers - and are a major part of making that switch possible. Bryan Alexander, Liberal Education Today December 21, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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